THUNDER BAY – Soccer – The Thunder Bay Chill are champions. The Thunder Bay Chill are the 2013 Premier Development League Regular Season Champion. It took the final game of the PDL schedule to determine the Regular Season Champion of the 64-team league. As tweeted by the USL, this is certainly a “huge accomplishment” for a league that houses teams from coast to coast in Canada and the US.
“This is a great accomplishment for our franchise and our community in Thunder Bay. It is very prestigious and one that is really recognized by our league at our annual meetings. It gives the community of Thunder Bay recognition in North America and how serious we are about this great game,” remarked GM John Marrello.
Thunder Bay Chill Top the PDL
Although the Chill had control of their own destiny entering the final weekend of PDL play, a tie vs. WSA Winnipeg at home on Friday night meant that they would need some help from two other games in the league….and help they received. The Fresno Fuego 1-0 loss to L.A Missioneros FC and the 3-2 loss of Ocean City Nor’easters to the Baltimore Bohemians was enough to keep the Chill (12-1-1) with the best record in the PDL.
The most exciting finish of the night was the come from behind win from the Bohemians who were trailing 2-0 to Ocean City before a miraculous finish in the 94th minute where the go-ahead goal was scored by the Bohemian keeper who had pushed in the attack.
Second Canadian Team To Win Championship
The Thunder Bay Chill was the 1st Canadian franchise to ever win the PDL in 2008 on that exciting night in Laredo, TX on National television and now become the 2nd only Canadian franchise to ever win the PDL Regular Season Championship. The Calgary Storm who no longer play in the league won it in 2001.
“This is great for our club but now we must quickly focus on our next goal. We want to improve on our performance from last year’s play-off early exit and next weekend we will face 3 great teams who will battle just as hard,” commented Coach Colistro.
Thunder Bay Fans Support the Chill
The Club has seen great support this season from the local community and is hoping this accomplishment will draw even more attention for next weekend’s play-off matches in Thunder Bay. “This is huge and we are all very excited. I am hoping that we can continue to educate our community on the level of the PDL, the types of players we have, and the enormous scope of this league and the franchises that belong to the PDL. We need to fill tbaytel field next Saturday and thank the players for putting Thunder Bay on the soccer map in North America again,” states sales director Mike Tallari.
The Chill was awarded the 2013 PDL Central Conference Play-offs last week. The Chill will play Saturday July 27th, 2013 at 3:00pm EST vs. the Michigan Bucks/Chicago Fire winner (Tuesday night). The second game will be played at 6:00pm EST between last year’s PDL champions FC London and Real Colorado. The winners will play for the Central Conference title on Sunday July 28th at 6:00pm EST. All games will be played at tbaytel field at Chapples Park.
Tickets are on sale at Monday night’s Chill Annual Award’s Dinner, Tuesday night’s friendly game vs. Minnesota United and during the day from 10am – 4pm at the Chill Box office located at 535 Chapples Park Drive – off Redwood Avenue. The general public has until Friday to purchase tickets in advance or one hour before kick-off at the gate.